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NGOs punch holes in coronavirus response

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Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation and Health and Rights Education Programme have punched holes in the government’s Covid-19 containment approach, especially as regards Malawi’s borders and self-quarantine measures.

In a statement made available to The Daily Times, the two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have indicated that they believe leaving borders—particularly the one between Malawi and Tanzania—subjects the former to grave danger.

The organisations have also advised the government to consider institutional quarantine as opposed to self-quarantine which Malawi is currently using.

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They say: “Institutional quarantine is intended to facilitate early detection of ill health due to Covid-19 and to prevent its spread to family members and others in the community.

Unlike self-quarantine, institutional quarantine requires a person who has been exposed to, or who has tested positive for the coronavirus, to stay at a facility identified by the government without mixing with family members or the general public for the mandatory period of 14 days.”

Meanwhile, Minister of Health Jappie Mhango Monday announced that Malawi now has 41 Covid-19 cases after two more cases were confirmed in Blantyre.

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Mhango made the announcement at Central East African Railways offices in Blantyre where Nacala Logistics donated equipment to the government for fighting Covid-19.

He identified the latest officially confirmed cases as two Tanzanians—a driver and his assistant—who have been added to the Malawi list as they tested positive for the virus while in this country.

“These are a 17-year-old boy and a 26-year-old man who came from Tanzania to deliver essential goods. They suspected they might have contracted the virus and approached our health workers,” Mhango said.

The two arrived in the country last Saturday.

Various stakeholders have been urging the government to intensify screening at the country’s borders or shut them completely to stop imported cases.

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